Hey all! This is Anya and you’ve made it to my blog to track my van conversion. For those of you who don’t know, I recently bought a Chevy Express cargo van that I plan to convert into a fully functional camper van. It’s currently a plain white panel van, (think of the van an electrician or plumber or something would drive.) I’m doing it myself because I want to add my own flare to it and traditional campervans are quite expensive and rather ugly if you ask me… Also, I know I’ll appreciate it more if I do it myself. Just in case you’re stuck on the image of the camper van as the dingy grungy van with a dirty old hippie living out of it between Grateful Dead concerts, here’s so examples of where the world of van conversion has moved on to:
I want the exterior shell of the van to be incognito so I can city camp and no one will suspect me of sleeping inside. This means I’m keeping it plain white, no fancy paint on this van. I plan to have a secure divider between the front cab and rear living area. The front cab area will be kept boring and all business, but in back is where the party’s at. Hence the name for my van: The Mullet. This blog will track my progress in converting a boring old work van into my own little palace on wheels.
I decided to blog about this whole process because I’m not that great with keeping in touch with folks. I have a ton of people and family that mean a whole lot to me and I typically forget to show it. So this is for all of you who ever wonder where the hell I am or what I’ve been up to these days and why does I never call or answer my messages?
My hope is that this van will give me the flexible stability I’ve come to realize I need to be happy. After finishing college, I reveled in the freedom of the open road during the couple of years I traveled around on my motorcycle. But I realized something was missing: a cozy space to call my own. I realized how important “home” is to me, but at the same time still felt this reluctance to set down roots anywhere. This push-pull between not wanting to settle down but also wanting to nest was causing a hefty amount of emotional turmoil. I was tired of staying with other people and the strain that put on both me and the people that hosted me. After much deliberation, I finally decided on living out of a van.
Major steps of the initial conversion process will be cleaning and prepping, insulating, and framing and paneling the interior. Then I’ll figure out an electrical system hookup, light and vent installation. Next will be the bed frame/storage build out and the kitchen/storage buildout. Past this I just haven’t thought about yet!
Right now, I have about $2200 to put towards this project. I know that once I have the van fully outfit with electricity, solar, tons of custom storage and full kitchen it will be more than this, but I really want to keep the whole build out under $4000, which I think is very doable. For now, I’m hoping that $2200 will get me through insulation, framing, basic car-charged electric system, a basic bed and storage structure, and a basic kitchen with running water and a fridge. I hope to have most of this done by the 4th of July. A kid can dream, right?
I’ll be posting here for each stage of the conversion. Posts about each stage will go up a bit after the time they actually happen. Like I said, I’m hoping to get the initial stages done in the next two months so this blog will be pretty active during this time. Check back to see my progress and get updates!